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The Love YOURSELF Valentine's Day Turn Around
The most important relationship you have is with yourself… FIRST.
We set ourselves up to react and respond to those around us. Work, kids, family, friends and loved ones will often drive our to do list. But what about your number one – you? We are good at taking care of others, but do you take care of yourself? Let’s take a closer look together.
Eat better, move your body, sleep longer, and LOVE yourself more = self-love.
LOVE Yourself More
I am starting here because it is probably the most foreign concept for most of us.
At first, it may be strange to give yourself so much attention, but after a while, wow, it’s like having your partner bathe you in loving and doting comments.
1. Read a love poem to yourself:
At first this is strange, but if you practice saying these words to yourself, just notice how you feel inside.
To the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say…
I love you.
I love your flaws and quirks, even if others find them weird.
I love you.
I love listening to you laugh, really hard, so hard your belly hurts.
I love you.
I want you to tell me what you need, so I can help you get what you need to feel amazing.
I love you.
I am here. I want you to know, I will take care of you.
2. Listen to this song, and direct the words towards yourself:
All of me, loves all of you. John Legend.
3. Take yourself out on a date.
This is my favourite self-love practice that is the MOST FUN! I did just that when my last relationship of ten years ended, and I was really depressed and missing me. I had lost who I was and wrapped my life all around his. So… the Vanessa date happened.
Directions: Write down what you think is the perfect date and how you want to experience it. Then take action! You can either do it with a good friend or go out on your own. Here’s how mine went.
Vanessa’s Self-Love Date
- I ate a healthy dinner that felt good in my belly with two glasses of wine (I normally would follow his food suggestion and end up with a tummy ache or feel bloated).
- Then, I went to the movies and saw an action film that included surfing, spirituality, and adventure (Point Break).
- My last stop was a stretch for me. I went to a nightclub by myself :-O I tend to listen to weird dance music and being in a relationship with a non-dancer hampered that. So… I took a taxi to the club and DANCED until 2 in the morning, by myself! It was scary, because it felt a bit dangerous to be alone at night, but I asked a friend to check on me and it worked out.
- The end result? I had a blast. My feet were sore, I could barely walk, BUT I felt happy, satisfied and like ME again, because I made the choices that were mine and not for someone else.
Nourishment goes beyond just the food you put in your mouth, but we will start with delicious and nourishing whole foods.
1. Eat foods that feel great in your belly and give you energy.
Write down for one day what you eat and how it made you feel in your stomach and digestive track, plus how that food affected your energy levels for the next hour. You will find that some foods work better than others. And some, just make you feel downright lousy. Consider “upgrading” the non-nourishing foods and that will be a commitment to self-love! Upgrades for me were:
- Switching cow’s milk with rice milk
- Drinking only one morning coffee and replacing my other hot drinks to mint tea or turmeric latte (golden milk latte).
- Instead of bread with my tuna fish or chicken salad, I now eat it on top of rye crackers and my digestion felt better, less bloated.
There is a lot of talk about nutritional supplements these days, and it is something that I heartily believe in as I think our bodies need “more” nutrition beyond what we put in our mouths every day.
Current trends in supplements include omega fatty acids, and vitamin D.
- Omega fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids have been helpful in supporting brain function, vision, and the function of the heart. These oils typically are sourced from fatty fish, which many of us don’t eat very often, but cleverly, the oils can be won from algae, the original source of that nutrient.
- Vitamin D supports bones, muscle function along with skin, hair, and nails. When I grew up, they added vitamin D to cow’s milk, and we also got it from being exposed to sunshine. These days being out in the sun is rare and many of us who are older can no longer drink cow’s milk because of digestive issues. So, supplementing this vitamin has become more important.
Have you heard of Juice Plus+ Essentials capsules… Omega+ Blend ? This unique product checks the boxes in so many ways with a blend of ingredients, extracted from plants and vegan sources that provides:
- Supports skin hair and nails: Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and the maintenance of normal muscle function.
- Supports bones and muscle function: Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and the maintenance of normal muscle function.
- Supports brain, vision & heart: DHA in Juice Plus+ Essentials Omega+ Blend contributes to maintenance of normal brain function, maintenance of normal vision, and EPA and DHA contribute to the normal function of the heart. The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of DHA / DHA and EPA.
3. Make yourself a loving nourishing meal!
When on my own, I will eat hummus and crackers or a smoothie. I rarely spoil myself with something that takes longer to cook or where I need to clean up tons of pots.
Here is a super warming and loving soup that I make when I feel like I want to just curl up and soothe. It’s made with sweet potatoes (sweet), along with ginger (warm), and brown rice (soothe). It’s got love oozing through its warmth.
WARMING SWEET POTATO LENTIL SOUP
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 onion
- 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small, sweet potato, chopped into cubes
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp curry powder, yellow
- 250 ml water
- 2 sachets of Complete by Juice Plus+ Vegetable Soup
- 50 g red lentils, dried
- 250 ml of skimmed milk (0.1% fat)
- 250 ml coconut milk
- Handful of baby spinach leaves
- Fresh coriander or parsley, chopped (optional)
- 1 lime wedge
- Sprinkle of chilli flakes
Step 1: Prep and cook the vegetables
- Make your “Mise en Place” by making sure all your vegetables are prepped, peeled, chopped, or grated – ready to go!
- Next get a large pot, add the olive oil, and turn it up to medium heat.
- When the oil is warm, add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes until soft.
- Add sweet potatoes and lentils, stirring so nothing burns.
- Add the cayenne pepper and the curry powder, stirring gently for another minute.
Step 2: Add in more of the good!
- Add all liquids and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add in Complete by Juice Plus+ Vegetable Soup powder. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked.
Step 3: Make it gorgeous!
- Remove from heat, divide the soup into two large bowls.
- This part is totally optional – take some fresh baby spinach, parsley or coriander and chilli flakes, sprinkle on top of your soup for an Instagram look. Serve with a lime wedge and dig in!
Sleep Longer = Self Love
People underestimate the value of sleep for their body.
Many people do fancy detoxes and rub hundred-pound skin creams into their face, but did you know that SLEEP will take care of all of that for free and 100% naturally? There is a thing called, “sleep torture” after all.
1. Disconnect to reconnect
Screen time AND social media is not doing us any good. We feel like we are learning, achieving, or being entertained, but the truth is online time is fragmenting our time and attention away from what is truly important to us.
- When we distract ourselves with social media, we don’t know how WE really are.
- When we get so many messages from outside of ourselves, it is difficult to know what desire is truly coming from our own hearts.
- Social media fuels comparison and perfection which are the enemies of self-development. You need to know where YOU are and what YOU really want, without being “influenced.”
- With all these messages… it becomes rather difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, because our mind is constantly digesting and making sense of it all.
2. Honour the golden hour! 10 p.m.
The body gets its best rest and recuperation starting from 10:00p.m. So, get into bed 15-20 minutes before that for excellent shut eye time.
3. Know when sleep becomes a problem
Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you get less or wake up feeling unrested and tired, it may be worth investigating and start practicing good sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene includes:
- Going to bed at the same time every night.
- Dimming the lights in the house one hour before bed.
- Cooling the bedroom so it is not too warm.
- Not looking at computer screens 1-2 hours before bed.
- Eating your last meal/snack 2-3 hours before bed.
Move Your Body!
Our bodies are made to move and there is truth in the saying, “move or lose it!”
How to improve your fitness level!
1. First things first. In order manage something better, you need to measure it.
Have a measurement gives you a benchmark to know where your starting point is. You can measure fitness by:
Time: e.g. how fast you can run, how long you can swim…
Repetitions: how many times you can do x, y, or z.
Strength: how much weight
Ability: what skills you’ve mastered in a sport like yoga, martial arts, or dance
Energy: how much energy you have
Sleep: if exercising is helping you sleep
Mental: if exercising is improving your mood and adding clarity
Choose the easiest to track measurement and measure regularly, at least once a week!
2. Choose a sport that you love.
If you love it, it will be easier to go and do it. For me running was great, but lonely. I love the community vibe from yoga studios, but not every yoga studio is for me. Some studios are uptight and too serious (no laughing)! Remember, you get to test and try new things out all the time. No need to commit until it feels right. But it’s important to keep trying!
3. Do you a sport with someone.
People pull you forward. When you go with someone, it makes it lighter and if you like that person, just meeting up and connecting will bring you energy.
Take this year’s Valentine’s Day to LOVE yourself more by eating better, moving your body, and sleeping longer.
Remember… attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. Imagine if you turned that attention to yourself and focus on you for a while? At least in the month of February, the time for love, and kindness.
I am a big fan of YOU. You should be, too!
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